Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity today launches a nurses appeal, the day before International Nurses Day (12th May), to ensure its network of 78 Roald Dahl Specialist Nurses can continue their vital work caring for seriously ill children while also supporting their fellow NHS workers on the frontline during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The nurses appeal, which aims to raise funds to help the charity’s specialist nurses continue their vital work and significantly increase the number of seriously ill children it reaches by providing more nurses, is supported by the charity’s Patrons, Claudia Winkleman and Julie Walters, who have recorded video messages, as well as David Walliams and Tony Robinson. A recent study* has shown that the number of seriously ill children in the UK with lifelong illnesses is increasing and it’s reported that there are over 100,000 children in the UK with long-term, complex conditions. The charity currently supports 21,000 of those children.
Claudia Winkleman, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity Patron, said: “Like all NHS staff, Roald Dahl Specialist Children’s Nurses are heroes. They are joining the front line to fight Coronavirus while still providing a vital lifeline to seriously ill children and their families. These families rely heavily on the support their Roald Dahl Nurse gives them, and this need is magnified at a time when the health service is under such enormous pressure. I would encourage everyone who can to dig deep and support these nurses who are doing such a wonderful job in such difficult times.”
Julie Walters, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity Patron, said: “On International Nurses Day I would like everyone to reflect on the enormous contribution that nurses are making towards the fight against COVID-19 and take a moment to say thank you. Many years ago, I was a nurse myself, so I know how much nurses love their jobs. I also know first-hand the expert care and love they can provide. I have been a proud patron of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity since its beginnings almost thirty years ago. The charity provides specialist nurses and support to seriously ill children all over Britain. These nurses are a lifeline to the children and families they support. Now, more than ever, they are working to ensure the vulnerable children in their care are properly shielded, and stay safe and well. Every seriously ill child deserves a Roald Dahl Nurse. Please donate now to help them continue their vital work.”
The appeal will also raise funds to provide essential equipment to ensure seriously ill children cared for by Roald Dahl Specialist Nurses can stay safe at home during the pandemic. Funds have been raised already to ensure that 80 families in Leeds with children who have life-limiting, neuro-muscular illnesses can get essential monitoring equipment to carry out blood pressure checks and urinalysis at home, rather than going into hospital. These children have compromised immune systems and are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than other children, so this equipment is a potential lifesaver for them.
Logan (7) is one of the 21,000 seriously ill children supported by Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. He has a very rare, undiagnosed genetic condition and is under a total of 14 specialist doctors. He has a few heart conditions (even after open heart surgery), scoliosis, hearing loss, hypermobility and a musculoskeletal disorder to name a few but as his mum, Sophie says, “the list is a bit lengthy to carry on.” Logan is cared for by Roald Dahl Specialist Rare Disease Nurse, Sarah, who is based at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Logan’s mum Sophie says: “I can’t put into words how much it means to us having our Roald Dahl Nurse, Sarah. It’s really difficult as a parent to deal with so much and your child can get lost in the system. Before we had Sarah, I was struggling, and I thought no one was listening to me. She keeps us afloat when we were sinking – she keeps us going.”
Angela Horsley MBE Head of Children, Young People and Transition at NHS England and NHS Improvement: “Specialist nurses play an extremely important role within the NHS and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity are doing an amazing job building their Specialist Children’s Nursing programme. Their network of 78 Roald Dahl Specialist Nurses provide an essential service to both the seriously ill children and families in their care but also to their fellow NHS healthcare professionals.”
Louise Griew, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity CEO said: “Like all small charities, we are in unprecedented times right now. Our income has been severely impacted while the needs of the seriously ill children cared for by our wonderful Roald Dahl Specialist Nurses have increased significantly. We believe every seriously ill child deserves a Roald Dahl Nurse and we want to raise as much as possible so we can increase the number of children we reach. I would urge everyone to donate to our nurses appeal so our nurses can continue to do their vital work within the NHS during this challenging time and so that we can provide more seriously ill children with a Roald Dahl Nurse.”
Please contribute to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity Nurses Appeal at www.roalddahl.com/donate
Over 100,000 children and young people are living with serious illness or exceptional health needs across the UK – source: https://www.pmguk.co.uk/data/page_files/publications%20and%20reports/2007/R.AiminghighforDisabledChilden.pdf